The hope of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election may be in further jeopardy as the party has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction’s candidate for the election.
This was as the party further asserted that the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states would be a litmus test for INEC, adding that Nigerians were no longer interested in inconclusive elections.
National Publicity Secretary of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, made the assertions while addressing newsmen in Port Harcourt, at the weekend.
Declaring that INEC had no basis to recognise the candidate of the Sheriff group, he said the governorship candidate of the party ahead the Edo election remained Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
He also expressed concern over what he described as the indiscriminate manner the judiciary was churning out orders in respect of the PDP crisis, saying it portended danger for democracy and asserted that Sheriff was removed by the PDP national convention, in line with the party’s constitution.
Adeyeye said Sheriff should not have been made acting chairman of the party in the first instance, as he noted that the PDP Constitution, as amended, only allowed the national deputy chairman of the party to take over in the absence of a substantive chairman.
“In Edo, the Sheriff faction is saying INEC must recognise the candidate submitted by it (Sheriff faction). How would INEC take something from a man that is only a busybody to the party?
“If a court had ruled that Sheriff is not the chairman of PDP, how then would a court say INEC should recognise a candidate recognised by Sheriff,” he further queried.
The PDP national publicity secretary wondered why Sheriff would continue to parade himself as the PDP national chairman when a national convention of the party had removed him.
Speaking on the series of indiscriminate court orders issued over the crisis in the party, Adeyeye said, “when has it become the tradition for courts to choose executive members of a party?
“Sheriff is saying he is the national chairman of PDP by court order, even when the governors and other members of the party have rejected him. Some people are trying to use the judiciary to destroy Nigeria’s democracy.
“An example is what is playing out in Abia State. But we are not going to allow our nation’s democracy to be destroyed. Nigeria has become a laughing stock and we must sensitise people on this, because it (indiscriminate court injunctions) is a new development.
“People are trying to manipulate the judiciary to their own gain and this is dangerous for democracy. The PDP national convention is supreme and Sheriff has no legal basis to parade himself as the PDP national chairman,” he added.